a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Monday, January 26, 2015

Free

Right before we moved, I was a girl on a mission (okay, not exactly a girl, perhaps a woman in her mid 50's would be more accurate), to sell these three items.

Table:  With six chairs and two leaves that weren't even in the picture below. The table was massive, heavy, long, too big really for us.



Buffet:  Cute, but we had sold the china that was in it and I am not one that had anything to put in it.



Entertainment center: Okay looking, but where we were moving had a little "nook" for the TV.



I did my best to sell these pieces.  Now they were several years old, probably close to 20-30 years old or older, as they were hubby's parents' things, but still in relatively good shape, just dated.

I advertised on Craigslist, I advertised on other sites through Facebook, I promoted them at the garage sales we had.  Our original price for the table/chairs was $300, we went down to $100.  The buffet $50, we went down to $15 at the garage sale.  The entertainment center $50, went down to $10. 

Not one bite.  No one interested.  

And we were getting ready to move and I definitely didn't want these to come with us.  I thought of calling Salvation Army or Goodwill and having them come and pick the stuff up but with all that was going on, I just wanted them gone.

So I advertised them for "free" on Craigslist.

The minute I placed them on it for free, no sooner had I clicked "publish ad", my cell phone started ringing, I started getting texts, emails were coming in right and left.  I finally turned off my phone, as I had run the ad at night, so I wouldn't hear the texts, or phone calls at night while trying to sleep. 

No one wanted them if they had to buy them, but everyone wanted them if they were free.  

Within a day, all the items were picked up.  I was glad to get them gone. 

Right before we moved I also ended up giving away for free a chest of drawers and and electric lawn mower; both again I tried to sell, both again couldn't get them sold. Both again very much wanted items when I advertised them for free.  They too were gone within a day after I ran the ad and both again produced lots of emails and texts wanting the items.

I had some funny things with getting rid of all the items.  One person said he would pay me $25 if he could come and get all of the items right then. I had just worked down my list, basically first come, first serve.  I told him no as I had already arranged with someone else coming the following day. If they didn't show up, I would work my way down to him.

Another person asked if I could deliver the dresser and they would pay me $20. I had to laugh at that. I wanted it gone, not have to deliver it in the process.

I heard a lot of stories of why they needed the furniture. One man had separated from his wife and needed things.  A homeless shelter could use the items, they would come immediately for them, but when I text them that they could have the entertainment center, suddenly they wanted dimensions and further details.  Several people wanted them because they were remodeling and thought it would be good for what they were doing. 

I personally was just glad everything was gone.  It would have been nice to have made some money, but the object was for them gone, and gone they were. 

I was very careful too about advertising on Craigslist. I know one has to be very careful in doing so. All the items were out in the garage, so no one ever had to enter the house. They came during the day and I tried to have them come by to pick up stuff when hubby was there, but that wasn't all the times possible. So I did text him to let him know when people were there and when they had gone. 

Now here I'm looking on Craigslist for some furniture we want to buy.........

46 comments:

Jeanie said...

That is interesting that everything went so quickly once it was free. It makes you wonder who was really getting the items. Oh well, at least you got rid of everything.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I am going to be selling a bunch of items soon since I am moving to Germany. Goodness I hope I can get at least a little something for them :)

Pat Hatt said...

Free is the magic word, you put that and suddenly everyone wants it every time. Have to be careful with the nuts indeed

joeh said...

Free seems to be the magic word.

Intense Guy said...

Psst... wanna buy a watch?

Bijoux said...

Sort of irritating to not get any money, just for the hassle of arranging all the pick up times!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Way to go! Glad you were able to give them away but sorry you couldn't sell them. I've never done anything on Graigslist. I understand a couple is missing right now after going to look at a car someone was selling.

Jerralea said...

I've never done Craigslist but it is good to know if you need something gone, you can use them and say the word, "free."

I would have taken the buffet if I had lived in your area. I think it is cute and would have been a great item to paint a "pop" of color!

TBR/Committed Thoughts said...

The word "Free" drags them out of the woodwork, doesn't it?

I've never used Craigslist...makes me nervous. My sister has never had any issues with it, however.

jack69 said...

It is always amazing, our life and 'stuff' or 'things'. WE need things, but not just any 'things'.
and yes I know the feeling of having stuff you absolutely don't need but are actually very valuable.

The table and chairs were a treasure for someone who wanted to hold them a few more years.

But to hold things you need space.

It is good to get the view from your bench. The visit is always pleasant. THANKS!

Mary said...

"Free" will have people coming out of the woodwork! Glad you were able to get rid of everything.

Tracy said...

You could see if there is a facebook swap page for your area. I got rid of some furniture that way and also on craigslist. Had an easier time with the facebook page though getting the price I wanted.

susie said...

...for free?

Stephen Tremp said...

I hope you can get furniture at least as good as what you gave away. We give away stuff for free on Craigslist. Saves us a trip to haul it to Goodwill.

Joanne Noragon said...

What an interesting lesson in human nature and the economy.

Retired English Teacher said...

We had similar experiences when we tried to get rid of things when we moved. We ended up giving away everything that we had at one point thought we could sell. It just wasn't worth the bother. It was easier to give it away.

Liz A. said...

Yep, free is the trick. Unless it's a TV that's not a flat screen. Tried to give a 10 year old TV away a year or so back, and no one wanted it...

Birgit said...

What a sad state of affairs when nobody bites for items that are a great deal. It also speaks volumes that they would pay you to deliver them rather than they move their lazy butt. At least you were able to get rid of them. If I was starting out and saw these items I would have picked them up for sure...so much one can do with these pieces...people have no imagination

Sue Elvis said...

Betty,

Your pieces of furniture sure were worth something. It's a pity you had to give them away for free but yes, it's good you didn't have to take them with you when you moved.

I never bother trying to sell things I no longer want. Usually I just get Vinnies or some other charity store to pick them up and then sell them for their own profit. It's easier that way!

I don't suppose you want an electric organ, complete with music and stool? I offered that for free and so far no one wants it!

TARYTERRE said...

Those were lovely things you gave away. Seems everybody wants something for nothing. CraigsList scares me but since you had a favorable response i may reconsider.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Those were really nice pieces. Too bad you couldn't get something for them. As soon as you add the word 'free' then everyone suddenly shows an interest!

yaya said...

We have an organization called Access that takes furniture (for free) to help furnish apartments for single parents..mostly women who are homeless. I've given them everything from vacuum cleaners to a stove and livingroom suite...just glad to get rid of them and happy they will be put to good use. Hope you find some great items for you new place..hopefully free ones!

SweetMarie said...

I look at the free section of craigslist regularly. remember to always be careful when dealing with strangers. I gave a lot of stuff to goodwill and to people before we moved from Orlando..it feels good helping people. there were a couple of items, like son's dirtbike that we just couldn't give away.

Chatty Crone said...

Did you hear about the couple who was just found murdered - they lived in this area - wanted a car - this car from Florida called and said he had one - went down there and he killed them --SO BE CAREFUL!

Mevely317 said...

This makes me so darn sad! That table's so lovely.... :(
I know what you mean about being 'DONE' with something and just want it gone, like Right Now.
Knock wood, Tom and I've only used Craig's list on a couple occasions but they were very favorable.

Sharon said...

We did something of that sort, too, when we moved. Except some items we just put on the curb with a "FREE" sign on them. They were gone overnight. And, even some of the stuff we put in the dumpster was gone, too!

What do they say? One man's junk is another man's treasure?

I admire you, Betty, because I do not think you have the *pack rat gene* like I do!!

:-)

Linda said...

Quite the bargains, hope recipients were appreciative! Slumberland is our go to furniture store. Good luck completing your mission, girl!

Veronica Lee said...

So sorry you couldn't sell them. Glad you were able to give them away though.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Glad you unloaded what you needed to and hope you find what you need now. Do be careful. I heard about that couple that went to get a car they wanted too.

Sheethal Susan Jacob said...

The relief we feel when all those unwanted stuffs hets put of our way, na? Glad you had an easy time giving them out. :)

P.S. Thanks for visiting my space. It was so nice of you to do that. :)
I really like your cover picture. An awesome place to sit and enjoy the view. :)

Stephanie Faris said...

We had a clothes washer that wasn't even FUNCTIONAL a couple of months ago. I put it on the curb with FREE on it...nothing happened, of course. I put it on Craigslist and about ten minutes later, my dog started going nuts. I looked out the window and, sure enough, there was a couple loading the washer into their car!

Nel said...

Glad you were able to rid yourself of the items. We have a place called Victory Mission here that will pick things up. They help the homeless in the area get on their feet. I have bought things on craigslist several times without and problems.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Next time...if there ever is one...try consigning to a "junktique" resale shop. Many people go there who are looking for older furnishings or furnishings they want to refinish or make into something else.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

P.S. - Free does not work on produce out of a garden. Not if they have to pick it. Lazy, lazy.

Bushman said...

I love Craig's list. More for a buyer than a seller but it is still fun. I just recently purchased a beautiful writing desk and a very nice over sized reading chair and ottoman. Both are in my study now.

Danielle L Zecher said...

My dad and I ran into that when we were in charge of clearing out my grandmother's house. We both hate clutter, so were perfectly willing to give lots of things (she was a major hoarder!) away.

I've never used Craigslist, with the type of work hubby and I both do stuff like that really makes me nervous.

Glad you finally got rid of stuff. By the way, had you been selling that stuff locally I would have definitely wanted to buy the chairs and entertainment center. We have lots of hand-me-downs, and I love the "dated" stuff. :-)

Relyn Lawson said...

This story gave me much to think about. How often are we unwilling to pay for what we want? How often do we want something for free? At least you laughed at the lady who wanted you to deliver to her. I would have been... well, not as nice as you. ;^)

Jen Forbes said...

I love Craig's list and have always found great bargains and the people who I've dealt with were kind and fair.
My guess is it's the economy and people are just falling on hard times. It's been quite a while since I've bought something You're a nice person Betty.

Carol Noren Johnson said...

I am this process also and wonder if my selling a chest and corner cabinet (recent yard sake), a piano (friend's sister), a sofa (Facebook virtual yard sale), and a pool table (contact from a friend) will be enough. I have had yard sales for my late husband's tools, and will have more garage sales--all ready set up for me in the garage.

Downsizing and moving is hard to do! You have done it and this inspires me!

Hugs,
Carol

DMS said...

How fascinating that everything went once it was free- especially considering the prices already went pretty low. I am glad you were able to get rid of everything. It can be hard to move items that are too heavy! :)
~Jess

Gauri Kulkarni said...

Hahahaha, the word always evokes interest!!! :)

Melanie said...

I'm glad you got rid of all the stuff! Everybody wants something for nothing these days. I sell a lot of items in Facebook groups and I have heard some stories!! People want you to deliver the item or they want you to knock off their gas money cost to drive to you. I even had people who wanted me to load up a big sewing machine cabinet and meet them on the corner - one house away.

Kat said...

Oh yes! Everyone LOVES free stuff. ;)

We accumulate so much stuff over the years and the hubby always says we should have a garage sale, but I usually end up giving the stuff away. If I can find people that really need the stuff I am happy to give it away.
So money would definitely have been nice, but how wonderful that you were able to help people in need. Well done, you!

Kate Brainerd said...

I can totally relate! I have been both Mrs. Gid-rid-of-it and Mrs. Pick-it-off-the-curb at different times.

SuperLux said...

Free is the magic word to make things disappear in seconds. Haha. So many similar stories here. :)

Linda said...

Betty,
Just reading through your blog, lots of changes for you. I was so sorry to read about Koda. Hope things are going good for you.
Linda